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  • Abby Narishkin: So, we're about to check out one of the

  • country's most expensive neighborhoods.

  • This is Fisher Island.

  • Mel Brooks, Julia Roberts, and Oprah

  • have all owned homes here.

  • With an average income of $2.2 million,

  • it's the richest zip code in the United States.

  • And we got a chance to tour it.

  • You may have heard of Fisher from reports

  • that all the residents and staff

  • got COVID-19 antibody tests,

  • just three miles from Miami, where testing was rare.

  • Yep, that's where we're headed.

  • You actually have to take a ferry there.

  • It's one of the only ways

  • to get on the island.

  • The other way to get on the island? Private yacht.

  • Only the island's 800 families and their guests

  • are allowed on Fisher.

  • So security is pretty tight at the ferry terminal,

  • but we got special access back in November 2019

  • thanks to Dora Puig,

  • one of the island's real-estate agents.

  • Dora Puig: Fisher Island is a private island enclave

  • with 216 acres.

  • Abby: Dora invited us to tour

  • Fisher's newest developments,

  • Palazzo del Sol and Palazzo

  • della Luna, opened in 2019,

  • which is how we ended up on the island's newest ferry,

  • taking the seven-minute journey from Miami Beach.

  • So, right now I'm on the ferry over to Fisher Island,

  • and, as you can see, I'm the only one here

  • in the passenger lounge.

  • Most everyone is in their cars.

  • We've got a Bentley, a Lamborghini,

  • a Porsche, Ferrari, I think.

  • You won't see these zooming around the island, though.

  • To enforce strict speed limits,

  • most people drive around in golf carts.

  • Dora: When you go to the beach club,

  • you'll have a mini Rolls-Royce golf cart

  • or you'll have a Range Rover golf cart,

  • or I've seen even vintage old American cars in baby blue.

  • Abby: The median waterfront

  • home here costs $2.9 million,

  • but residents are not only splurging

  • on million-dollar apartments.

  • They're also paying a

  • hefty membership fee.

  • That covers unlimited use

  • of the community pools,

  • the 17 tennis courts, and the private beaches

  • with sand imported from the Bahamas.

  • But it doesn't include the golf course or the two marinas.

  • Dora: The original idea of Fisher Island

  • was for everyone to live in the community

  • and use the community amenities.

  • Abby: But even on a private island,

  • some residents want even more exclusive perks.

  • The newest condos, Palazzo del Sol and della Luna,

  • don't have beachfront locations,

  • but they do have a private gym, salon, theater, and pool

  • and water transport that only condo residents can use.

  • Dora: Come step in with me.

  • Abby: Dora first showed us a $14.5 million unit

  • in Palazzo della Luna.

  • She says many of the island's current residents

  • have been looking to trade up for a home like this one

  • so they don't have to share amenities

  • with the whole community.

  • This unit has four

  • bedrooms and five baths.

  • Dora: You walk in, you're at ground level,

  • just like in a single-family home.

  • You have your private pool, you're on the bay,

  • and look at the size of the outdoor entertaining terraces.

  • It wraps around the whole corner of the residence.

  • You could have a dinner for 200 to 300 people here.

  • Abby: The selling point:

  • the disappearing master suite.

  • Dora: You walk into a dressing room

  • that looks like an Hermès shop.

  • Walk-in dressing room for the lady

  • and white-lacquered Italian closets.

  • The custom bathroom by Boffi for us,

  • with the floating island in white lacquer.

  • The tub is custom made for us,

  • and it's called the Fisher Island.

  • And then enter into the master suite,

  • with your 12-foot ceilings.

  • Abby: Because we were curious,

  • we went to check out a second apartment,

  • a supposedly more affordable

  • unit up a couple floors.

  • At $9 million, it's got three bedrooms

  • and three and a half bathrooms.

  • Dora: Here you're walking into the wooded parlor

  • with our little mini-library, all in blond oak.

  • You have the main living room, dining room,

  • kitchen areas to the bay,

  • and the master suite is also to the bay.

  • And then you have the two guest suites

  • on the golf-course side.

  • Abby: You can keep all the furniture

  • for an extra $2 million.

  • Dora: Look at how beautiful it is.

  • Abby: These two new developments

  • have only made Fisher more untouchable,

  • pushing home values across the island up by 20%.

  • Today, you'll find price tags

  • of over $40 million for a condo.

  • That's only $10 million short

  • of the most expensive home ever sold in Miami.

  • And that was an entire mansion.

  • The Palazzos were the first developments

  • on Fisher in nearly a decade

  • and are targeting a new generation of buyers.

  • Dora: Traditionally, we had a little bit older demographic

  • because the island is so beautiful and it's expensive.

  • We've really seen it switch to a much younger crowd.

  • So we've seen a nice migration towards younger families.

  • Some come from generations of family wealth;

  • others come from selling oil companies,

  • selling financial instruments, technology, hedge funds.

  • Abby: Even still, half of the residents are over 60,

  • making them particularly vulnerable for COVID-19.

  • The island has always been a place for the 1% to get away,

  • ever since it was formed in 1906,

  • when a canal was dredged so boats could go

  • from the Port of Miami straight to the ocean.

  • Dora: The interesting part about this is that

  • Fisher Island today would have been

  • south of Fifth Street in Miami Beach,

  • because it was actually connected

  • to the tip of Miami Beach peninsula.

  • Abby: Miami's first Black billionaire,

  • real-estate mogul Dana Dorsey,

  • was one of the first

  • owners of the new island.

  • He wanted to build a Black resort here,

  • but he had trouble getting workers

  • out to the island to build it.

  • So he sold it to billionaire developer

  • Carl Fisher, who named it after himself.

  • Next up, the Vanderbilt family.

  • Dora: Carl Fisher and

  • William Vanderbilt were known

  • to party and have a lot of fun here.

  • And one very late night,

  • I'm sure there were drinks involved,

  • they traded the island.

  • Carl Fisher traded his

  • island with his winter home,

  • which is today the club,

  • to William Vanderbilt for

  • his over-200-foot yacht.

  • So, they did the trade,

  • and then the Alva later on sunk

  • and William Vanderbilt kept the island.

  • So I think he was the better businessman.

  • Abby: After Vanderbilt's death,

  • the island passed hands between millionaires.

  • And then it was left vacant for 15 years.

  • In the 1980s, Fisher's current developers

  • started work on the community you see today.

  • And now Fisher is a full-blown town.

  • The old Vanderbilt mansion is a hotel

  • with suites running for

  • almost $1,500 a night.

  • Vanderbilt's old airplane hangar is now a spa,

  • and you can even rent a property here on Airbnb

  • for about $700 a night.

  • But this doesn't happen in a vacuum.

  • It takes about 600 workers to run this island.

  • They live off-island and have three separate ferries.